Alright, so a post on coronavirus is not something l would normally write about.
But its scale and impact – like the Australian bushfires of January 2020 made me compelled to.
As events and conditions developed, l felt inclined to write something.
Something straightforward, something simple to explain the outbreak.
To distinguish facts from fears.
Cut through all the noise, all the sensationalism and remove the misinformation or hyperbole.
Equally, take a moment to donate to support the COVID-19 relief efforts. It’s in all our interests to do so.
Well, to make it clear, coronavirus actually refers to a group of viruses which includes the common cold.
This coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, is a form of respiratory disease.
Global recognition and acknowledge of the outbreak began on December 31st, 2019, when it was announced from the Wuhan, China.It is a newly formed strain of the SARS-COV2.
But it’s important not to just want to relate coronavirus vs flu symptoms immediately.
Traditionally, coronaviruses affect mammals and birds, which funnily enough, includes us. Domesticated animals like cows, chickens and pigs are also susceptible, causing various unpleasant experiences for them.
So where did it develop?
Well, the cause remains to be one of the biggest uncertainties surrounding this outbreak.
And it links significantly to my point about domesticated or farm animals.
Essentially, as researchers and officials have scrambled to respond, this has included establishing where and how this strain of coronavirus emerged.
Interestingly, up until now, most, including mainstream media have suggested the Hunan Seaford Market in Wuhan was the source of the outbreak.
However, other reports, including one from The Lancet – the most prestigious and accurate medical, scientific journal, challenged these assertions.
And we go further.
That research, alongside more recent articles, has emphasised that this strain of coronavirus has a long incubation time between becoming infected and displaying symptoms.
It is also more complex than just trying to draw parallels of coronavirus vs flu symptoms.
With existing COVID-19 cases, this has been from 2 to 14 days, with an average of five.
As time progresses, it is being more widely agreed that while the Hunan Market may have been the original source of the outbreak, due to its sanitation levels, standards of animal welfare, and the broader, questionable condition of Chinese regulations, it was where the coronavirus transferred to humans.
Debunking the facts from the fears
Something l primarily wanted to do with this post is confront the amount of misinformation that has appeared alongside the outbreak.
And the best way to do this?
Debunking the fake news surrounding the numbers and statistics you may hear.
Simply, because numbers don’t lie.
- Over 90% of known infected cases are in China, the source of the outbreak.
Of these, over 81% are mild and 14% are moderate. Only 5% are critical cases.
- Well even if you reach a critical level, compared to the SARS virus of 10% fatality, a coronavirus COVID19 is only 2%.
Plus, that’s just in general. Before we even begin considering the personal differences like age, gender and so on.
- If you’re under 50, your chance of fatality is 0.2%.
So, to put it in perspective:
If you are under the age of 50, not residing in China, you have a greater probability of winning the lottery – 1/45,000,000 chance, than dying from coronavirus.
We can go one further.
Of the 30 million suspected of flu cases, there have only ever been 17,000 deaths. 17,000 too many, but a fraction of all cases nonetheless.
0.28% of all cases, to be precise.
Other comparisons are:
- Cancer killed 26,000+ people the same day
- Heart disease killed 24,000+ people the same day
- And perhaps the saddest of all, people committed suicides 27.7x more than died from the coronavirus on February 10th
That we as people have much higher control over how and where our lives develop. In many ways more than a new strain of coronavirus.
Alright, so that’s some numbers to put the figures into context.
Now to tackle some of the most misleading and incorrect information that appears out of hazardous, global events, this outbreak being no different.
The level of misinformation is not only unhelpful; it’s dangerous.
The predominant sources of legitimate and credible details on combating coronavirus come from:
- World Health Organisation,
- Centre for Disease Control and Prevention,
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Take the time to support COVID-19 relief efforts by donating.
Your contributions support those who are working relentlessly to protect us
Now the largest misconception surrounds face masks.
- Unless you have anything like a fever or a cold, you do not need to wear a mask.
- They will not make a difference if you are currently healthy.
So, only wear them if you are ill with the symptoms or what you suspect to be.
This is not a clear cut case of coronavirus vs flu. Or even a case of coronavirus vs flu symptoms.
The same goes for hand sanitizers.
- You don’t need to bulk-buy sanitizers or gels from amazon or stores. Traditional soap and water are enough.
- There are multiple cases of firms and individuals unfairly hiking prices up, exploiting people of their fears to get their money.
Natural or remedies are ineffective.
- There is no research or evidence to suggest are useful in combating coronavirus.
- Just fake stories which have spread over WhatsApp and other social media.
- If anything, they may be harmful.
That social media is the best and most efficient way to acquire information. It isn’t!
- Almost all forms of social media are actively restricting details people can find because it is causing hysteria and confusion.
- Social media is a hub for viral content, but it should NEVER be taken at face value – especially with subjects as serious as coronavirus.
You should never travel.
- The chance of infection by flying is the same as any crowded area.
- So, as long as you avoid these you should be safe to travel.
That said, in a crisis of this scale it is paramount you stay at home.
With this being a worldwide event, we must have faith in the organisations, the agencies, the experts who are doing their best to fight, understand and eradicate the coronavirus.
And that’s just it, the point where we as individuals can step up. Because:
Listen to your medical and scientific professionals. And do so regularly.
This might seem safe explanatory, but you would be surprised how quickly fear, hysteria and emotions will inhibit us from thinking logically or rationally.
These individuals are literally at the frontline, committing their lives to research and understanding these viruses or bacterium. Events like these are what they prepare for.
Knowledge is power.
this aligns very closely with point 1. Of course, you cannot expect to follow all specific health and scientific professionals – unless you have a unique twitter feed.
But what you can do, is NOT to take your information or acquire your knowledge from sources like social media. While it’s easy to scroll, it’s not the place to get informed.
And if you really want to have a well-rounded understanding of the situation, consider perhaps reading from news sources which you don’t normally.
The point is that you read quality news from journalistic professionals – much like point 1 eh?
Ensuring the best news is support will help to address coronavirus treatment better.
Be vigilant of your surroundings, yourself and others.
What l mean by this is simple – have greater spatial and social awareness.
This doesn’t mean you have to look at everyone, with some hardcore bitchface or as though they produce some delightful aroma.
It means that if someone seems to be unwell or are coughing and sneezing, then avoid them. In times like these, it doesn’t hurt to urge on the side of caution.
Conversely, when you’re out and about, be courteous. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, ideally with a tissue or minimally your sleeve.
Or if you suspect you have a fever (not necessarily the coronavirus), then consider staying at home. Refraining from making others unwell is something you should do irrespective of what the infection is.
After all, this is a respiratory disease so this is how it will be transmitted.
Regularly & THOROUGHLY wash your hands.
Why the capitalisation?
Because the number of times l have seen individuals stick one finger under the toilet tap makes this necessary.
Properly washing your hands means you cover every area of your hands – be that with hand gel/rub or with soap and water.
And equally crucial, DRY your hands properly. It helps to reduce bacterial spread further.
This relates to point 1 and 2.
Only seek professional medical advice, if the symptoms of yourself or someone you are caring for resemble those of the coronavirus after the average incubation period.
The main reason being is you don’t want to overwhelm or distract professionals already inundated with cases, as this will slow them down and prevent those who need treatment from getting it.
Be logical and rational when travelling.
What l mean by this is to have and use common sense.
Well, l recently travelled and had no trouble despite the fears of coronavirus.
l didn’t need to cancel my trip.
Doing so, will be as effective as when an eventual as a coronavirus cure.
I adhered to strict hygiene, washing my hands frequently and covering my mouth or using a tissue, for instance, when feeling l might sneeze.
I didn’t approach crowded areas and ensured l avoid those who seemed unwell. Equally, l encouraged who weren’t conscious of their actions to be more considerate.
And l monitored events unfolding daily, if not twice a day to ensure l was as informed as possible.
Refrain from racism. But call out those who are.
It disheartens me to even have to mention this.
But these events do NOT legitimise the ability to be racist or target those who represent some connection to the outbreak.
Specifically, l am referring to Chinese or even Asian individuals.
Certainly, China, and more explicitly, the Chinese government + officials have a lot to answer for their inaction to responding to the coronavirus, or worse still, attempting to cover it and their mistakes up.
However, in NO way does this mean that some random individual you see around your neighbourhood or area has any connections to these events whatsoever.
You cannot tell their background or what they’re dealing with.
Some may have even suffered the loss of relatives as a result of this outbreak.
And most crucially?
If you see others doing these things, call them out. Make them think. Make them aware. Even share or tell them about this post.
This outbreak and these unfolding events are serious.
There is no denying that it is affecting many people and that precautions need to be taken.
However, remember that the probability of becoming is exceptionally low.
And even then, the likelihood of you becoming critically unwell is lower still.
We need to focus on doing our part, not worrying about asking is coronavirus new as this won’t help to develop adequate ways to beat it.
Finally, take a moment to donate in supporting relief efforts. It’s in all our interests to do so.
Be safe out there, but equally, intelligent and courteous.
What are your thoughts concerning the coronavirus?
Do you know or had any experience with outbreaks like this before?
Then be sure to leave a comment.